Although we’ve already witnessed a fair share of upsets already, Poland will try to pull off the biggest shocking result in the 2022 World Cup thus far when they take on France in the Round of 16.
In earnest, the Polish side hasn’t truly set the world on the fire during the group stage, only scoring two goals in their three outings. Nonetheless, it proved to be just enough to eclipse Mexico in a razor-tight battle for the runner-up spot.
Despite their shortcomings in creating goals, the Poles made it to the knockout stage because they have done a significantly better job on the opposite end of the pitch, primarily thanks to the heroics of one man.
After collecting two clean sheets in his first two outings and saving two spot kicks (the more recent against Lionel Messi), Wojciech Szczesny has to be the best goalkeeper of the group stage round.
Yet, the Juventus custodian rarely receives the plaudits that he deserves, despite his grand exploits for both club and country in recent seasons.
Aside from a slow start to the previous campaign, Tek had always been an extremely reliable shot-stopper, but for one reason or another, he’s never a part of the discussion when it comes to the best goalkeepers in the world.
While we’re not suggesting that our man is the absolute best in the world – the honor probably goes to one of Manuel Neuer, Jan Oblak or Thibaut Courtois – but surely he warrants a spot in the Top 10.
Nevertheless, you won’t see the Pole’s name mentioned in the vast majority of the lists, which makes us wonder if he’s the most underrated goalkeeper in European football.
Regardless, the former Arsenal and Roma man will be in action this weekend in another attempt to earn the recognition that has been long overdue and perhaps even delay Poland’s widely expected exit from the tournament.
As ever, all eyes will be on Robert Lewandowski, but if Poland were to stun Kylian Mbappé and company, they will undoubtedly need Szczesny to pull off another couple of miracles of so.